As the academic year glides to a close, I have news.
For the past six years I’ve been lucky enough to have been a governor at one of the finest schools in the country, working with a wonderful group of people to support the education of local kids.
One of the many reasons this school has been able to achieve so much over the past few years has been down to the tireless work of our exceptional Chair of Governors. His calm and considered leadership of the GB has enabled us to provide the best possible support to the leadership team as they took the school through a significant period in its history; Ofsted Outstanding, total reshaping of the school site to provide outstanding new sports facilities, a new sports hall and a dozen classrooms, a new science block in progress and a significant expansion of student numbers both pre and post sixteen. All the while maintaining the outstanding academic results that we have come to expect. Oh yes, and a change of Headteacher. So a quiet few years!
So, after all this its perhaps not too much of a surprise that the CoG would want to step back and be able to take a little bit of a breather. He deserves the rest, leaving the school in a better place than when he started. He will be the first to say that the work was done by others, by the fabulous staff the school is blessed with. But to a person they would recognise they’ve been able to go so far because of the support he has provided.
So, on to the news.
Given what I’ve said above, you’ll understand how honoured I was to be elected to take over the role of Chair from the beginning of next term.
I’m fortunate enough to have the same superb group of governors to work with including a great vice-chair and committee chairs. A bonus is that the retiring CoG has agreed to stay on as a governor. And doing all the hard work the same leadership team and school full of wonderful teachers and support staff.
In many ways we are a privileged school. We exist in a place of advantage (which is not to say we don’t have our own pockets of disadvantage, but they are that, pockets), we have been fortunate enough to obtain funding to develop our school estate and that work continues this year. We recognise those privileges and respect them.
But like most everywhere things are changing and there are challenges. A thousand new homes planned on the fields just behind us will change the population in the area and inevitably the affect our school. Our self-managed building programme continues. The individual schools around us are coalescing into a variety of MATs, and we seek our own way through this fundamental change to how schools are managed. All of this of course in an extended period of reduced funding and ever increasing, overly politicised, expectations.
When I tell this to folk not involved in education their response is invariably “Why on earth would you want to do that” and my answer is the one that anyone who works in or with schools would give you – “Have you met the students?” They’re why you do it. They’re funny, intelligence, hopeful, hardworking and optimistic. They need and deserve the very best education we can give them and if I can help with that in the smallest way it is my baby-boomer obligation to so.
My promise to everyone involved is simply this. I will do my best.